Fears for daycare clients

Bruce Laughton Newark and Sherwood District Councillor for Farnsfield is unhappy along with residents on Cockett Lane about housing plans on the adjacent field.
Bruce Laughton Newark and Sherwood District Councillor for Farnsfield is unhappy along with residents on Cockett Lane about housing plans on the adjacent field.

Ollerton residents are determined to save a day centre for adults with mental and physical disabilities from closure.

Hundreds have so far signed petitions against the closure, which comes as part of Nottinghamshire County Council’s plan to bridge a £154m government funding gap.

The county council says the centre’s clients would have alternative placements provided in Mansfeld and Newark.

But Nottinghamshire County Councillor Bruce Laughton, who sits on the health scrutiny committee, said he feared the trauma of disruption could lead some to self-harm.

“We had all sorts of problems when we had to close it before because the service users tend to get used to their carers,” he said.

“The Whitewater allows the families of its clients to have a day off and what we need to recognise is that these families save the state an absolute fortune.

“They care for their loved ones at home and the least we can do as a county council is provide facilities that help them.”

Coun Laughton said visiting the centre had been a real eye opener.

He added: “You do not realise what these parents are having to deal with on a day-to-day basis

“This is an incredulous decision - it is absolutely crazy and shows no compassion whatsoever.”

With 1,500 signatures already gathered, opposition to the plans is passionate. Coun Laughton will present the petition to full council on 18th September.

Councillor Muriel Weisz, chairman of the adult social care and health committee at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “Approximately 100 people currently attend Ollerton Day Service. Everyone who attends will be offered the opportunity of a place at Mansfield or Newark Day Service - depending on which is nearer to where they live – when the centre closes in 2016.

“For some people, this will mean having less distance to travel. People are also able to use their personal budgets on other activities if they would prefer.

“The difficult decision to close was taken in February this year, following a thorough and comprehensive public consultation on our budget proposals.”